Why Do You Play Video Games? That’s what Theology Gaming wishes to meditate upon this week. Do you know? Well, let’s at least talk about it.
- Why Do You Play Video Games? by Zachery Oliver (Tuesday, March 19th)
- Why I Play Video Games by Bryan Hall (Wednesday, March 20th)
- Why Does Yann Wong Play Video Games? and Because I Love Learning by M. Joshua Cauller (Thursday, March 21th)
- Why Do You Play Video Games? – A Debate with Patrick Gann and Brian Castleberry of Substance TV (Friday, March 22st)
For a very long time, 1 Cor 10:31 (So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God) troubled me as a gamer. How are my playing of computer games glorifying to God? For that matter, how does any recreational activity: sports, TV, movies, hobbies, etc. be glorifying to God? And if they were not, then should we just cease such activities altogether? It was a search for the answers to such questions which led me to start my blog Redeemed Gamer, and how I ended up meeting Zach and coming aboard on Theology Gaming.
What are my conclusions so far? Why do I continue to play video games, and write about them?:
- I serve fellow Christians who are also gamers by using the medium of videogames to point them towards Christ and reminding them of their calling as God’s children.
- The beauty, goodness and truth displayed in videogames remind me that the source of all beauty, goodness and truth is God.
- Sin and depravity displayed both within videogames as well as the gaming community reminds me of the Fall, and of our need and dependence on a saviour.
- The enjoyments I get out of videogames help me to be grateful towards God for his blessings and his grace – that I even have the capability to enjoy video games!
- The enjoyments I get out of videogames remind me of the true joy in Christ, and the joy which awaits me in heaven.
- The multiplayer games I play (particularly couch co-op games) are a platform to fellowship with and love my family and friends.
These are the reasons for playing videogames (which I can think of) which are glorifying to God. There are of course plenty of reasons for playing videogames which are NOT glorifying to God, such as self-centred hedonism, or as an escape from reality into a virtual world where the player is worshipped as hero, i.e. a technology facilitated self-idolatry.
This is why (and my esteemed fellow writers on Theology Gaming may disagree with me here) I do believe that there are good reasons for Christians NOT to play videogames. Even if videogames are not sin, they do take up a good chunk of our time, and for most of us, there are ways which we can use that time which are more glorifying to God.
In fact, I would so go far as to say that if we are in the company of Christians who are convicted that Christians shouldn’t be playing videogames at all, we shouldn’t play videogames in their presence so as to not stumble them (Rom 14; 1 Cor 10:23-30).
In short I conclude: it is possible to play videogames to the glory of God, and that I what I must strive to do each and every time I pick up my controller. But I believe not every Christian is capable of this, and I cannot in good conscience RECOMMEND every Christian to play videogames. Every Christian gamer needs to check his or her heart, that he or she plays games with motives that glorify God.